The not-so-sweet news about artificial sweeteners
Health Artificial Sweeteners Obesity

The not-so-sweet news about artificial sweeteners

Dr Linda May-Zhang
Dr Linda May-Zhang

In 10 seconds? Research suggests that your sports drink or sugar replacement can be toxic for your gut bacteria, which regulate hunger and how we store fat. Crucially, the mix of these microbes also affects whether you develop diabetes or become obese.

What kind of toxicity are we talking about? What happens is that by consuming certain artificial sweeteners, the fine balance of our gut bacteria, as well as the compounds they produce can change. The metabolites our gut microbiome produces play important roles in keeping us healthy, but regular consumption of saccharin, sucralose, or aspartame can lead to glucose intolerance – a marker of metabolic diseases.

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